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Commiphora Mukul, Guggal, Guggul

Note: The image is for reference purpose. Actual plant height will be 0.5 to 3ft.
Its a flowering plant and prefers arid and semi-arid climates and is tolerant of poor soil. Common name: Guggal, Guggul, Mukul myrrh tree, Indian Bedellum, Commiphora mukul, Devadhupa, Balsamodendrum wightii, Commiphora mukul, Guggulu Suddha, Indian Bedellium, Koushika, Mukul Myrrh Tree, Balsamodendrum mukul, Palankasha.
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Commiphora wightii (Guggal, Guggul or Mukul myrrh tree) is a flowering plant in the family Burseraceae. The guggul plant may be found from northern Africa to central Asia, but is most common in northern India. It prefers arid and semi-arid climates and is tolerant of poor soil.

It is a shrub or small tree, reaching a maximum height of 4 m, with thin papery bark. The branches are thorny. The leaves are simple or trifoliate, the leaflets ovate, 1–5 cm long, 0.5–2.5 cm broad, irregularly toothed. It is gynodioecious, with some plants bearing bisexual and male flowers, and others with female flowers. The individual flowers are red to pink, with four small petals.

Family: Burseaceae 
Genus: Commiphora 
Common name: Guggal, Guggul, Mukul myrrh tree, Indian Bedellum, Commiphora mukul, Devadhupa, Balsamodendrum wightii, Commiphora mukul, Guggal, Guggulu Suddha, Indian Bedellium, Koushika, Mukul Myrrh Tree, Balsamodendrum mukul, Palankasha.

Climate and Soil:

It usually occurs in and regions, hills and piedomonts, but it can be grown in warm and semi and regions on hill tops, preferring hard, rockey soils off North west India. It is also considered as a drought aria salinity resistant plant. It prefers loams to sandy loam soils with pH ranging between 7.5 to. 9.0.

Soils are coarse textured, well drained and calcarious soils are generally poor in organic carbon, nitrogen, high in potash ion, magnesium, zinc and copper, medium in phosphorus and calcium.

Propagation:

I. By Seed:

Seeds are the major propagation source in nature. In Rajasthan and nearby arid regions flowers and seeds are constantly produced by C wightii except in winter season. April May seeds are less viable compared to July to September seeds. Monsoon, season creates conducive atmosphere for germination.

The temperature after monsoon ranges between 30 - 37°C maximum 20-25 °C rninimum with high relative humidity. Mature seeds are washed along with clay and soil to the crevasses between rocks and germinate there,

2. By Cuttings:

It can be successfully propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings. Cuttings are planted in June at a depth of 15 cm for raising them in nursery. Proper soil moisture is necessary for better rooting.

The rooting begins after 21 days from 30 cm long stem cutting having 1.5 - 2.0 cm diameter IBA @ 250 ppm treatment of stem cuttings is beneficial which enhances the rooti8ng to nearly 70% as against 30% under normal conditions. The plants are kept in nursery for 6 months and during the monsoon rooted cutting are transplanted in the field at a spacing of 2 x 2 meters.
 
Irrigation and Weeding:

C. wightii require meager irrigation after its establishment. In the scarcity of rain, tip to 5 years, plant is in need of irrigation during winter season. During summer seasons at the age of 8 years when the plant attains full maturity it requires irrigation at least 2-3 times during summer and winter season.

During rainy season, weeds occur in the crop. The excessive weeds-cheek the nutrition supply to the plant. The weeding is beneficial in the month of September and December.

Tapping and Collection:  

After achieving the physiological maturity of plant the gum resin is tapped during Dec. and Feb. Plant attaining 7.5 cm diameter is suitable for tapping the gum resin. Usually 1.5 cm deep circular incisions are made on the main branches and stems at uniform distance of 30 cm and at an angle of 60 manually.

The yellowish white fragrant latex dozes out through the incision and slowly so kidifies into vemicular or stalactitic pieces which are collected manually or with spear. Subsequently collection is done at the interval of 10-15 days.

Grading:

The best grade of guggul is collected from the thick branches of tree. These lumps of guggul are translucent Second grade guggul is usually mixed with brark, sand and is dull coloured guggul. Third grade guggul is usually collected from the ground which is mixed with sand stones and other foreign matter. The final grading is done after getting clearnsed material. Interior grades are improved by sprinkling castor oil over the heaps of the guggul which impart a shining appearance.

Plant Protection:

Plants are often affected by termites particularly in summer season. Termite causes severe damage to the plant by making holes through buried ends of the stem or root. The infested plants become dry showing yellow appearance' of leaves and eventually result in death of the plants.

Some of the control measures are as   follows:

i) Destroying the termitorium by using kerosene of calcium disulphide. 
ii) Use of paste of goridal consisting of Garcenia gummiphera (1 part) and asafetida aloes and guggul resin (2 Part each) in an aqueous mixture is effective in killing termites.    
iii) Use of 'haptafan' 44-45 kg/1000 pits (3%) as soil application is effective.
iv) Use of mercuric chloride (0.25 %) or copper sulphate (0.55%) in aquous solutions is effective in controlling the termites. 
v) Dusting of 250 gm of gamaxene (B.H.C. 10 %) in the soil of each pits at the time of planting is also used as preventive measures for termites.

Chemical Constituents:

The resin is transparent in the form of thin film but transparent or even opaque in bulk. It is completely soluble in most of the organic solvent and in castor oil drying and terpentine oil. It mixes with stearic acid, vegetable waxes and resins.

The essential oil (0.38%), obtained by steam distillation of oleo - resin of C. weightii is composed of chiefly terpermes like myrcene (64%), dimyrcene (11%) polymyrcene and cryophylene.

Yield:

Starting from sixth year the guggul gum yield increases from 200 gm to 400 gm per plant. The total guggul gum yield within five year comes to be 1600 gm per plant corresponding to 3200 kg per ha @ 2000 plants per ha.

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